Many people come to our Web site looking for information about Sisters who were their relatives, teachers or otherwise played a significant role in their lives.

Below you will find obituaries for Sisters who have died recently, in alphabetical order by first name. A comment section follows where you can leave a personal remembrance of a Sister.

A separate obituary is published in the issue of Benedictine Sisters and Friends magazine that is published after her death, where you might find additional photographs. Click here for the archive of past issues.

For more information, feel free to call the monastery at 320-363-7100.

  • Ancille (Mary Louise) Vertin, OSB
  • AndrĂ© Marthaler, OSB
  • Ansgar (Agnes) Willenbring, OSB
  • Arno (Rose) Beehler, OSB
  • Aurelianne (Rosalia) Kelsch, OSB
  • Barbara (Amelia) Weiland, OSB
  • Berno (Agnes) Flint, OSB
  • Brian (Connie) Spain, OSB
  • Camille (Dorothy) Hilgers, OSB
  • Carolinda (Catherine Mary) Medernach, OSB
  • Cassian (Florence) Peters, OSB
  • Catherine (Alverna) Mc Innis, OSB
  • Christopher (Mary) Weber, OSB
  • Cordis (Hildegard) Gaebel, OSB
  • Davidica (Loretta) Ballmann, OSB
  • Delice (Genevieve) Bialke, OSB
  • Dorothy (Jolenta) Eisold, OSB
  • Dorothy (Louise) Noll, OSB
  • Elaine (Elizabeth) Schindler, OSB
  • Eleta (Gertrude) Gapinski, OSB
  • Elizabeth (Donald) Gruenes, OSB
  • Elvan (Mary) Drayna, OSB
  • Etienne (Mary) Flaherty, OSB
  • Eugenia (Margaret) Hartung, OSB
  • Eulalia (Mary) Siebels, OSB
  • Firmin (Fern) Escher, OSB
  • Frances (Henry) Borgerding, OSB
  • Giles (Evelyn) Reller, OSB
  • Gilmary (Mary Theresa) Kempf, OSB
  • Giovanni (Magdalen) Bieniek

    Sister Giovanni (Magdalen) Bieniek
    St. Joseph, Minn.
    August 14, 1910-November 1, 2011

    The Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 8, 2011, at the Sacred Heart Chapel, Saint Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph, for Sister Giovanni (Magdalen) Bieniek, (101) who died on Tuesday, November 1, 2011, at Saint Scholastica Convent, St. Cloud.  Burial will be in the monastery cemetery. Friends may call at Saint Scholastica Convent on Monday, November 7, from 1-6 p.m. or for a Prayer Vigil at 7 p.m. at Saint Benedict’s Monastery. Visitation continues at 9 a.m. until the time of the funeral on Tuesday, November 8, at 3:30 p.m.

    S. Giovanni was born on August 14, 1910, to Joseph and Agnes (Nowak) Bieniek in Holdingford, Minn. She attended the district school in Arban and Holdingford High School (1929). Her entrance at Saint Benedict’s Monastery on November 29, 1931, was followed with acceptance into the novitiate on June 12, 1932, first monastic profession on July 11, 1933, perpetual profession on July 11, 1936, and consecration as a virgin on July 14, 1957. She celebrated her 50th anniversary as a Benedictine in 1983, her 60th in 1993, and her 75th in 2008. 

    In preparation for a lifelong ministry in health care, S. Giovanni graduated from the St. Cloud Hospital School of Nursing in 1934. She also received a B.S. degree in hospital administration from St. Louis University, St. Louis, Mo., in 1940 and a certificate in pediatric nursing at St. Joseph Hospital in Chicago. 

    As director of nursing, S. Giovanni spent 27 years ministering at St. Alexius Hospital in Bismarck, N.D., at St. Cloud Hospital and St. Benedict’s Hospital in Ogden Utah. Coordinating health services at Saint Benedict’s monastery, high school and college filled the next six years. The Sister Visitor Program in the Spiritual Care Department at the St. Cloud Hospital was under her supervision for eight years. In 1971, she was appointed to the St. Cloud Hospital Board of Trustees. Following this were years of visiting patients at the St. Cloud Hospital, and nursing services to Sisters in retirement. She went to live at Saint Scholastica Convent in 1988.   

    S. Giovanni is survived by her Benedictine community; her brother Stephen, Sartell; sister-in-law Dororthy Bieniek; two sisters: Pauline (Rein) Mans, Riceville, Iowa, and Sister Joel, OSF, Little Falls, Minn.; and many nieces and nephews. Seven brothers (John, Theophil, Alois, Joseph, Peter, Sylvester and Walter) and three sisters (Mary Mathe, Sister Vianney, OSB, also of Saint Benedict’s Monastery, and Sister Mary Grace, OSF) preceded her in death.

    Please direct memorial gifts to the care of the elderly Sisters at Saint Benedict’s Monastery, 104 Chapel Lane, St. Joseph, MN 56374

  • Glenore (Margaret) Riedner, OSB
  • Gregor (Doris) Bergerson, OSB
  • Hildebrand (Anna Mary) Eickhoff, OSB
  • Idamarie (Irene) Primus, OSB
  • Innocent (Agnes) Preusser, OSB
  • Janice (Lillian) Wedl, OSB
  • Jeannette (Loyola) Klassen, OSB
  • Jeremy (Evelyn) Hall, OSB
  • Johanna (Lucille) Becker, OSB
  • John Bernard (Bernice) Plantenberg, OSB
  • Kristin Malloy, OSB
  • Laura (Severne) Gaebel, OSB
  • Laurian (Irma) Schumacher, OSB
  • Lavonne (Alma) Eibensteiner, OSB
  • Lea Aydt, OSB
  • Linnea (Eleanore Mary) Welter, OSB
  • Lorayne (Simeon) Andre, OSB
  • Lucille (Agnesine) Hubmann, OSB
  • Lucille (Julia) Lawrence, OSB
  • Lucille Schramel, OSB
  • Lynette (Florina) Primus, OSB
  • Madelon (Madeline) Roberge, OSB
  • Malachy (Grace Marie) Hurley, OSB
  • Marcus (Margaret) Salzer, OSB
  • Marette (Marcella) Malley, OSB
  • Margaret (Leo) Schweiss, OSB
  • Margaret (Roderick) Van Kempen, OSB
  • Marie (Cuthbert) Zwilling, OSB
  • Marie (Placid) Weisser, OSB
  • Marilyn (Bernice) Kulzer
  • Marion (Clara) Zimmerman, OSB
  • Marion (Mary Louise) Sauer, OSB
  • Marjorie (Rose) Hill, OSB
  • Marl (Martha) Gapinski, OSB
  • Marlene (Marie) Guggenberger, OSB
  • Marlys (Margaret) Kuehn, OSB
  • Marold (Leona) Kornovich, OSB
  • Martina (Agatha) Schindler, OSB
  • Mary (Sebastine) Schneider, OSB
  • Mary Ann (Maurus) Henn, OSB
  • Mary David (Felicia) Olheiser
  • Mary Ellen (Mercy) Machtemes, OSB
  • Mary Frances (Catherine) Gebhard, OSB
  • Mary Jane (Rhoda) Hunkler, OSB
  • Mary Monica (Monica) Zierden, OSB
  • Mary Roger (Elizabeth) Andert, OSB
  • Michaela (Cecilia) Fuchs, OSB
  • Michelle (Irma) Schumacher, OSB
  • Monique (Edvare) Valville, OSB
  • Nancy (Linus) Hynes, OSB
  • Nivard (Mary Ann) Neft, OSB
  • Nivelle (Lucina) Berning, OSB
  • Patricia (Marilyn) Wallis, OSB
  • Raymond (Mildred) Doerfler, OSB
  • Rebecca (Blanche) Schmidt, OSB
  • Rosemary (James) Hoschette, OSB
  • Ruth Nierengarten, OSB
  • Suzanne (Irene) Helmin, OSB
  • Terence Nehl, OSB
  • Teresa (Arlene) Duerr, OSB
  • Victorine (Leah) Houde, OSB
  • Virgene (Cecelia) Marx, OSB
  • Vivia (Doris)Theisen, OSB
  • Zoe (Helen) Imholte, OSB


Posted by Deneige on
I have such fond memories of Sr. Mary David. She was prefect on my floor and many a night if she saw the light under my door (after her very long day)she would knock and she would chat at the foot of my bed. We did not talk so much school work but about what was my life like and my memories and dreams. I feel honored that she signed and delivered me my diploma when she was Academic Dean. I just wasn't just another graduate when she gave it to me with a wink. God has rewarded her with the supreme gift of Eternal Life. Godspeed.
Posted by Joan Hutson on
S. Vivia and I were next-door neighbors throughout our childhood which gave us memories that never faded but grew more vibrant as time passed. Often in later years at St. Benedict's and St. Scholastica's we found great joy in recalling our happy times together--there were many. I will miss here.
Posted by Deborah Hoffman-Wade on
I was so sad to hear of Sr. Ruth's passing. I loved her so very much. She was fabulous as a novice director. Full of positive energy, working hard to bring us all together in a rough period of transitions. May she rest in peace knowing her laugh still rings in my heart.2RU4
Posted by Clarice Harhut on
Sister Ruth Nierengarten, or 'Deano' as we affectionately called her those many years ago, was the battery that kept things running and alive at St. Ben's High back during my time there in 1965-69. Despite her small stature and delicate appearance, she was an energetic force to be reckoned with. She had our respect as an authority figure as dean, but along with that she also earned our love and affection. For as many escapades as she caught us at, I am sure there were just as many where she looked the other way and allowed 'girls to be girls.' It goes without saying that S. Ruth was intelligent and creative. But she also had a lighthearted nature, fun sense of humor and endearing quality that I grew to recognize, treasure and appreciate more and more as the years went by. S. Ruth was a beloved part of my memories of my years at St. Ben's and to imagine life without her is going to take time to come to terms with. Yet I know she had a long and full life, and I find peace in the joy I know must be hers as she basks in the warmth of God's presence. Rest in peace, Ruthie. I'll miss you!
Posted by Leona Wieland on
I wish I knew more about my aunts, Sr. Beata Kessler, Sr. Clothawald Mayers, Sr. Rogeria Mayers, and Sr. Juletta Hoppe. Tt would be great if you had info about them. I was told that Sr. Juletta was head of St. Cloud Hospital at some time. I was born there in 1947 and I'm wondering if at that time she was there.

Leona (Mayers) Wieland
Posted by Jim and Lori Schwartz on
Dear Sisters,

We just learned today of Sister Lucille's death, a special Benedictine and lady of Saint Bede Monastery. She was a beatiful person, one of the unforgettable friends that marked a nine-year association with development and communications at the monastery.

Sister Lucille was hands-on-spiritually significant in many ways. She was closely involved in the monastery's annual Celebrity Banquet and countless other activities of her monastery. She seemed to love everyone she met, and was a wonderful listener, learner, and participant in what has proved to be a long and shining life.We will miss her in life but not in our memories. May all blessings be hers -- and all the Saint Benedict's Sisters. Jim and Lori Schwartz, Altoona,WI
Posted by Fr. bob Leising, OMI on
Hello Sisters of St Benedict,
Greetings from Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, IL. I received a call from a relative of Sr. Mary Wilhelmina. Her name is Debbie Langcaster 314-621-5860. She has ask me for some assistance in trying to find out about what happen to Sr. Mary(Langcaster).
Her letters addressed to Sr Mary via Kansas city, Mo. Priory of Our Lady of Ephesis have been returning back to her. Mrs. Langcaster seems to me to be of the immediate family and would like to receive some attention and peace concerning her dismay about not being able to contact Sr. Mary. I will call her back today and give her the phone number mentioned in your outreach. Thanks for listening and good ministry to you all... Messsenger, Fr. Bob Leising, OMI 618-394-6271
Posted by Kathy Flanagan Moore on
I met Sister Nivard at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. She was working on her doctorate and I had just entered college. She went hiking with my parents and I have a photo of her perched in a tree. She and my parents had a snowball fight from snow left from the winter. She was so horrified that her snowball hit my dad's camera. We remained in touch over the years and she helped me a lot when I believed God was calling me to serve Him. After Utah I lived in California and now I live in Washington, but I returned to Wisconsin, where my parents lived, every summer. One summer my cousin drove me to St. Joseph and we spent the weekend with Sister Nivard. I now live with a Sister of the order of St. Joseph of Peace and we also stopped for a visit with her. She was at this time still up and about but in a great deal of pain from her bones moving in her spine. I remember Sister everyday at Mass and will continue to do so.
Posted by Margaret Henkels on
Sister Lavonne lived with my family while I was little, in Dubuque Iowa. We loved her very much. She will be missed and remembered by many.
Posted by Laura A Fenick on
A friend of mine handed me a Healing Prayer several years ago after Mass one day that was written by Sister Marl Gapinski. (It was the monthly Healing Mass at Our Lady of the Lake Chapel in Newburgh, NY) Somehow the Holy Spirit has led me to this site today and I am glad to have found Sister Marl but saddened to find that she has passed and yet I take comfort knowing she must certainly be happy with Our Lord now, forever. I would like to type this prayer here. It is truly beautiful and special and I have continued to hand it out to others. This year in particular while my Dad was ill, I had several prayers that I prayed regularly for him but this prayer is one that I prayed out loud for him while laying my hands on him in his hospital bed when I caught him awake in the days before he passed this Easter at sunrise with our Risen Lord. (It's a sorrowful time but I am finding great comfort in the timing of his passing) Thank you Sister Marl for such a beautiful prayer that helped my Dad when he needed it most. And I thank you again Sister Marl for the peace and comfort it gave me to have been able to say it for him.

"Healing Prayer"

May Jesus heal you, strengthen you,
comfort you, and console you.
May He look upon you
graciously and lovingly.
May He be compassionate toward you,
look kindly
Mercifully and gently upon you.
May He give you His peace, joy,
and happiness,
and may
He Bless you this day and everyday.

- By Sister Marl Gapinski, O.S.B.
Posted by Diane Beehler Cohen on
Dear Sister Marette was a faithful servant who cared for my dear aunt, Sr. Arno Beehler, for many years. She represented all that is so wonderful about your community. I know they are enjoying the presence of the Lord in perfect health. Perhaps they are tending one of the gardens, or helping with crafts?
Diane Cohen
Posted by Joan on
Sister Marette Malley was my 3rd grade teacher at the St. Joseph Lab School. She was one of my favorite teachers while attending the Lab School. She was so easy going, I don't think I can recall a time that she ever ever scolded any of the misbehaved students. She always made learning fun and interesting.
Posted by Lee Gaffrey on
Sister Aurelianne was my Aunt on my mother's side. Although I only saw infrequently during her life, I always remember her joyful spirit and ready good humor. As she is the last of the Kelsch siblings I am sad at her passing and yet joyful that she is with the Lord.
Posted by kathleen atkinson, osb on
Sister Teresa was always such a gift of warmth and hospitality when I came to the spirituality center. My love and prayers to all the Benedictine sisters and thank you for your faithful presence.
Posted by Lt. General Howard M Fish on
I remenber Sister Madelon most fondly. She was always so pleasant and undestanding even to those like myself who were frequently ordered to report to the front office at Cathedral High School. (Class of 1941) She was a real inspiration.
Posted by Pat Pickett on
It is incredible how time has slipped by. When I saw Arlene's obituary, I noticed all the great women, women who have influenced my own life, listed as well.
Linnea, my first English teacher and source of great joy in my life. I smile now when I see Nancy remembering her nickname as C- Linus. She was so much more and I did not appreciate her until I actually became an adult, well into my 30's! Brian...what a brave soul to handle all of us who came under her as postulants. She could be strict, caring and she was a great cocoon for crying times. Etienne was one of my role models as a junior sister and I so wanted to learn her beautiful French. Never did, never actually tried. Went the Hebrew route instead. Two women who were tremendous support at different times were Ancille and Firmin. As a first year student at CBS I would shudder upon seeing Firmin. I was scared to death of her. When I told her that years later, she couldn't believe it. In my 40's we re-connected with joyous results. Ancille was my piano teacher for several years and she had great patience. I loved her dearly and will miss her. Kristin made me laugh and I was always happy around her. She gave me the incentive I needed to get my doctorate in my 50's. These were the women I knew...I'm sure all the others listed were wonderful friends, sisters, aunts, cousins, teachers, role-models to all they met. I just realized I didn't say much about Arlene. Can anyone forget her giggle? I have not been to CBS in years but I can still hear Arlene giggle. I am thankful for the time I shared with each.
Posted by ssinksbm on
Sister Michaela was my all time favorite teacher at St. Boniface (English class)She always made sure my wife (Anna Theisen) of 50 yrs and I would do school activites together we both were in her english class What a charming Sister she was.And a great match maker she was. We named our first born after her Michael . Now we have lost them both Sister on Sept. 8th 2009 and Michael on Oct. 18th 2009. May god BLESS AND HOLD THEM BOTH NEAR
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